Expect the workplace of the future to be automated, full of change, and diverse.
But it could also be in your living room.
The future of employee experience is incredibly volatile at the moment. The pandemic affected millions of workers, especially those on the frontlines, and now the great resignation is changing things further.
The pandemic and the slow move towards automation have drastically affected the workspaces. The demand for remote work will shape our experiences in the work environment for the next decade and beyond.
We’re going over some of the most important trends in the workplace today, how to prepare for them, and how the future of work will look for frontline staff in particular.
Trends shaping the employee experience
Well before the pandemic, automation and the future of work started emerging as a growing concern. A 2017 survey showed that the percentage of work done by automation had nearly doubled in three years.
Due to health concerns and a shortage of workers after the pandemic, getting more work done with fewer employees has become even more critical. Automation is redefining employee roles, and you need the training to help your employees grow and retain your top talent.
HR leaders are experiencing a skills gap as the typical workday changes. 87% of companies surveyed report that a skills gap is already apparent or will be in a few years.
Automation frees up manual labor but adds new tasks for employees that require additional training. Without training, the market lacks compatible workers. This further frustrates companies already experiencing a loss of talent.
While companies hope that the great resignation will slow down in 2022, it doesn’t seem to be the case for everyone. Women, in particular, feel ready to leave.
Qualtrics reports an 8 point drop in women’s intent to stay with their company and a 21 point drop for female leaders. Without addressing their concerns, the problem will persist.
How companies can anticipate these changes
With the next-generation employee experience shaping up to be an automated one, how can human resources adapt?
The first step is to be proactive. Prepare to make changes now when employees are receptive to it and have ideas of their own to share.
Employee retention depends on improving work-life balance and changing the corporate culture to accommodate more flexible working models.
New jobs are being created specifically to deal with the pandemic job crisis. You can see initiatives to improve employee well-being, such as mental health benefits and hybrid work.
McKinsey & Company predicts that if the world addresses the gender imbalance the pandemic has created, it would add $13 trillion to global GDP by 2030. Flexible scheduling or allowing employees extra time off for child care can make a big difference for female employees.
Likewise, address a potential skills gap before it becomes a problem. Communicate with your employees through an employee social media intranet.
Get their feedback on:
- Skills and training they want to get
- Problem areas to improve productivity
- Ways to increase employee engagement
Stacy Janiak, chief growth officer for Deloitte US notes, “The World Economic Forum wants to reskill a billion people by 2030, and the pandemic only sped up this need for digital transformation.”
Automation and flexible work schedules will further increase the need for digital solutions to our problems in the workplace of the future.
The future of employee experience on the frontlines
The emphasis on employee experience is the future of work. Almost 50% of frontline staff surveyed were ready to quit their jobs. The top reason they gave was burnout.
While increased pay incentivizes some workers, many frontline workers are fed up with poor working conditions and a lack of appreciation by managers and customers alike. Many feel unsatisfied with skill development and career progression in their companies.
About one-third of frontline workers said access to skill development and the opportunity to advance within their company would make them stay at their jobs.
This shows how the culture of frontline organizations needs to shift to retain employees.
Communicate with your staff and take care of them as individuals.
Frontline employees are increasingly searching for new skills and have led the resignation movement. They look for a future with greater flexibility and respect from their employers.
Final thoughts: the future of employee experience and your frontline staff
The future of employee experience is still shaping out after a few difficult years. Employers need to collaborate with employees to understand the skill gaps and growing concerns before they become problems.
Treat your workers as people, and you can reduce friction as we move toward a more automated workplace. Help them adapt to new technology. Ask them if they are experiencing stress or burnout, and listen to them.
You can increase communication between employees and management with a communication app tailormade for frontline staff.
Your frontline workers need tools that are accessible and let them work and learn no matter where they are. A mobile-based solution is the answer.